PDA

View Full Version : 2nd Edition D&D players please respond



Splendor
2010-04-19, 05:52 AM
Just wondering if those who played D&D before 3rd edition came out, if they like 4th edition at all?

:::Edit:::
Would you rather play 4th edition, pathfinder or 3.5?

Edwin
2010-04-19, 05:56 AM
I've played both 2e and 3e for a good deal of time, and I've greatly enjoyed both games. My favorite may have been the good o'l timer 2e, but 3e was, to me, a worthy successor.

The new kid 4e, however, never really caught on with me. I've got the phb, I see some of the appeal, but it's just not my game. Lot's of people enjoy it immensely, though.

I like a lot of the basic mechanic changes in Pathfinder, though my experience with it is severely limited.

Yora
2010-04-19, 05:58 AM
I don't really understand the question here?

Edwin
2010-04-19, 06:06 AM
I don't really understand the question here?

I think, as evidenced by my post, that he was asking wether some of the players who started out or simply played 2e transitioned to 3e and then further on to 4e. And what we felt about it.

Baidas Kebante
2010-04-19, 06:08 AM
Played mostly 2nd edition and a bit 3.0, but moved to an area where gaming was rare by the time 3.5 came out (still kept tabs on the gaming scene though). I've played 4th edition a few times and I'm enjoying it very much. Never played Pathfinder though.

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-19, 06:09 AM
I love and play 3rd edition.

I loved AD&D 2e and played a lot BECMI (actually, I played it from B to M :smalltongue:).

I actually think that the flavour of the former and the simplicity of the second are lost forever (but I keep my rules cyclopedia).

I find pathfinder nice, and well made expecially for a core only environment (and I appreciate the politic of paizo).

Maybe they could have done more changes, expecially for spellcasters (casting in combat is still quite easy at high levels) but I find it enjoyable.

4th edition, FOR MY TASTES, is the worst edition of D&D until now.

Remember, nevertheless, the having fun with your friends always overrides the edition you play.

potatocubed
2010-04-19, 06:15 AM
I played AD&D for a while before 3.0 arrived and the entire group leapt aboard in the style of people saved from drowning.

I like 4e, but of the options presented I like Pathfinder best.

Mushroom Ninja
2010-04-19, 06:30 AM
I started playing D&D with AD&D shortly before the release of 3.0. I now play mostly 3.5 with a bit of 4e on the side. My favorite of these is 3.5. Not really touched PF yet.

Yora
2010-04-19, 06:34 AM
I started with AD&D for about a year but never really understood THAC0 and the saves, and such things.
When 3rd Edition came it made BAB, AC, and saves so much easier, with an easy system for skills and feats. And as one could just convert characters and NPCs (at least in lower level games) and just keep on playing the same campaigns, I immediately jumped on.
When 4th Edition was released, it looked to me like an entirely different system that just kept some names and terms, but seems to be missing a lot of things like spells. Playing 4th Edition would mean playing a new game, not playing with revised and improved rules, so I lost interest and havn't bothered about it since then.
PF seems like some interesting ideas, but as a whole, it doesn't make a better game than 3.5e, so I see no reason to relearn all classes and feats and spells again.

And 3rd Edition has the OGL, which is just great for homebrewers.

gdiddy
2010-04-19, 06:45 AM
I tend to agree with Yora.

Learned in 2e, thrived in 3.5, never played PF. Demo'd 4e at a convention, with friends, and even messed around with DMing with it at one point.

4e has no OGL. No SRD. It can sell minis well enough, but it will always be in its big sister's shadow as far as community strength and cultural relevance among role-players.

Matthew
2010-04-19, 07:19 AM
I imagine the idea here is to determine if there is any truth to the claim that D20/4e is more like AD&D/2e in style than D20/3e; that is to say, if you were somebody who preferred AD&D to D20/3e, do you also prefer D20/4e to D20/3e? As somebody who prefers AD&D to D20/3e, I can assure you that I have no preference with regard to D20/3e versus D20/4e. They are very different games, but I would not say that one appeals more to me than the other, though D20/3e is the more mechanically similar to AD&D, whilst D20/4e may require less preparation than D20/3e and thus be more similar to AD&D in that respect (my experience with D20/4e is limited).

RagnaroksChosen
2010-04-19, 07:28 AM
UI played Ad&d, 3.0, 3.5 and 4e.

If I look at 4e as its own system that has nothing to do with d&d I like it, other wise it doesn't feel like dnd. I would rather play 3.5 or 2nd ed.

Amphetryon
2010-04-19, 07:39 AM
I played Basic, 1e, 2e, 3.0 & 3.5, and have demo'd 4.0.

1e will always have a special place in my heart, and I'd probably play it again, warts and all, if given a chance.

2e was a smooth enough transition, overall, that I had no problems with the conversion, but missed some little things (1/2 orcs, Monks, etc.).

3.0 (and its 3.5 'fix') is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different game than its antecedents. I prefer the flexibility it offers and the style of play it generally encourages, even with the system breakdowns that come from too much or too little rules-mastery.

4e is, again, a completely different game. I can see its appeal, but it's not what I want from D&D, in general.

hamlet
2010-04-19, 07:50 AM
Learned on BECMI, thrived on AD&D and still play it to this day.

I've tried 3.5 and just didn't care for it, at least from the DMing side. I ended up spending far too much time trying to figure out how it worked rather than intuiting it. AD&D is, for me, FAR more intuitive in that way. I've never been on the player's side of the table and I suspect it would be greatly enjoyable, but I've been unable to find a group that shares my general views on gaming that'll give it a try.

Tried a couple of 4e demos and did not care for it at all. I do not see the allure. You can keep it.

If forced to pick between 3.5, PF, and 4e . . . I suppose I'd choose 3.5. If I had my choice, though, it'd still be AD&D 2ed, maybe Original D&D/Swords and Wizardry for fun stuff.

Cuaqchi
2010-04-19, 07:51 AM
Like a lot of the others who started playing with AD&D before switching to 3.5 I have to agree with the sentiments. In 2nd Ed. there was a simplicity that made it easy to move forward and tell a story which when converted to 3.5 became more stream lined and rules heavy but overall was the same general feel. 4th Ed. on the other hand just doesn't appeal to that style of play and even if the system is well built it isn't my cup of tea.

Kurald Galain
2010-04-19, 08:26 AM
Just wondering if those who played D&D before 3rd edition came out, if they like 4th edition at all?
Yes, I do, but I am of the opinion that it is not a continuation of the 1E-2E-3E line, but rather a new game altogether.


Would you rather play 4th edition, pathfinder or 3.5?
Hm... 3.5, probably. Although I don't have a strong opinion on the differences between that and PF, having not played the latter yet.

BloodyAngel
2010-04-19, 08:52 AM
Like many others on here, I learned on 2nd ed. AD&D, as it were. I changed to 3.0 with some hesitance, then to 3.5, and now 4th. I've DM'ed in all of the above as well. I even played a game or two of old 1st ed with some friends a while back, so I like to think I've had a wide range of D&D experience.

And my thoughts are thus... They're all fine. Really, edition wars are silly, and while it's fine to have a preference, it's kinda dumb to bash other people for having one that you don't share. Each edition does some things well and some things poorly. I like 2nd a lot, but that's mostly because it's what I learned on. I can see the system's flaws if I stop and look. I don't really have a bias against any of the editions of D&D, and I've had fun playing games of all of them. (Though I'm short on 4th ed games, because my group are sour on the new ed. and rarely want to play it.)

4th isn't any closer to 2nd ed than 3rd is. It's more like it in some ways... and less like it in some ways. It's not "like an MMO" either, at least, not more like it than any other edition has been. It's just a game.

Before I go into a rant on this, I'll just cut myself off here and answer what I think was the original question. I played 2nd, I like 4th, and I'll play either. If I had to choose between 3.5 and 4th I'd play... whatever the group was running. I've never played pathfinder, so I can't comment on that. If I HAD to choose, I'd probably pick 4th, as it's newer to me and I've played a lot of 3.5, so it's become a bit old hat for me by now... but I don't bear some kind of grudge against any edition.

Apologies for the long-winded answer.

satorian
2010-04-19, 09:13 AM
I started with Basic as a kid, played some AD&D, and knew 2e best. I skipped 3e, and came back to gaming after 3.5 came out. I've played it, and I like the options. There are some things, though, that I still prefer from 2e, and would probably prefer to go back to that at some point if I found a group. Things I dislike most about 3.5: CR, WBL, Christmas tree effect, golf bag of weapons because of the way immunities are done, tons of useless options mixed in with the good ones.

I dislike 4e, and would rather not game than play 4e. To me, 4e feels like Stratego rather than an RPG, because of its focus on battlemat combat. My best gaming experiences never had a battlemat. Imagination, aided by a piece of paper and a fair DM ruling of what I could see have always been more than enough. I find battlemats ruin the imaginative experience for me.

I also don't care a whit for interparty balance (to a point, but one that has never been reached).

Erom
2010-04-19, 09:32 AM
I played 2e in high school, and 4e right now. Never really got into 3rd, though that was mostly due to being at university with no free time or gaming group for most of 3e life.

Kylarra
2010-04-19, 09:37 AM
I started in AD&D. I like 4e on its own merits, but it's not really a game I'd choose to play on my own.

Of the 3, I'd rather play Exalted so ... :smalltongue:

Taelas
2010-04-19, 09:39 AM
I played 2nd Edition only very little before 3rd Edition came out. I never really learned the 2E rules until after I started playing 3E, though.

I have the 4E core books, but the changes are just too much for me to play it. I haven't even tried. I don't like many of the changes they made. I prefer 3.5's flexibility to 4E's balance.

Kurald Galain
2010-04-19, 09:57 AM
Of the 3, I'd rather play Exalted so ... :smalltongue:

Quoted for truth!

Galdor Miriel
2010-04-19, 10:11 AM
Every edition seems to come up with good stuff, and then has some baggage.

I played from the early days and have spent a lot of time on every edition. As a dm and player I think though that the important thing is to be able to use the mechanics offered well, rather than have the mechanic drive the game. Some of the changes in 4E are good mechanic changes, as they move D&D towards more of a fantasy novel story line creation in the hands of a good dm and players. Some of the other changes are towards ridiculous complexity.

The mechanic of 4E allows a thief to challenge a wizard, as they are not totally out of whack in terms of power, which is exactly the kind of thing that happens in good stories. This change is actually a good one if you flavour it right in the story. In my game magic is all powerful in the common mind, the PCs just happen to have that mixture of creative brawn and will power that helps them to fight the all powerful demon.

The magic item system of AD&D was the best, when you could enjoy a simple +1 sword. The new magic item and wealth system in 4E is something I do not enjoy too much, and in our games we are moving towards using the enhancement option, where you get bonuses without the magic item. On top of this we looking at using old style magic items. That said, the artifact mechanic is good.

Skills and skill challenges are awesome when done right, and silly when not understood. If I went back to an older edition, I would houserule a similar system into it.

I must admit that making the wizard not awful at swinging a sword is something I really like. I hate the way in 3.5 that the wizard is a chump at some skills and fighting. The changes in 4E to skills and combat bonuses are a good mechanic.

So overall I like them all, and I would love to have the time and freedom to design my own system where I pick and choose the things I like and make it work nicely to tell the kind of story that I want to tell, while enjoying pizza and beer.

GM

Eorran
2010-04-19, 10:14 AM
I started in 2e, and the bulk of my gaming has been there. Transitioned to 3.X, liked some aspects, and I like some parts of 4th as well.

The one place where 4e shines over 3e, in my experience, is DM prep time. It's much simpler to put together encounters with the 4e system, and in general, monster level is more accurate than CR.

In some ways, 4e's stated approach of "if there's no rule make it up" reminds me more of 2e. I've never tried to play RAW, and my group has always taken a "screw the rulebook, do what sounds fun" approach.

I do find that Epic characters in 4e seem to lack epicness, though that may be because we haven't played much high-level 4e yet.

Never played Pathfinder at all. Of the 3e/4e/PF, I'd probably take 4e.

Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 12:30 PM
Just wondering if those who played D&D before 3rd edition came out, if they like 4th edition at all?

:::Edit:::
Would you rather play 4th edition, pathfinder or 3.5?

I like 4th edition as a game, but do not consider it to be D&D. D&D is a game about becoming heroes, and I think the fragility in low-level characters is a major part of the experience. In 4e, I've only had upper-level characters die in situations where they've been severely gang-banged... a minotaur paladin holding off a group of duergar, a bard stuck in a narrow corridor, pounded from both directions and by the corridor's area effect, a rogue who rushed into combat and was smacked around by the leader, then shoved in a corner where he could be pounded... prone and unconscious... by some striker-types. I've not had a character die in a stand-up fight, and I can't really recall one that did so without some serious concentration of firepower.

This isn't saying this is bad; for certain types of games, it's great, and I think 4e does very well by it. However, the fragility of characters in TSR D&D was part of the game... that this was a dangerous profession and folks were gonna DIE.

Of the three, I would rather play 4th edition. It's a fun game, and we have a pretty good group (one person is getting on my nerves right now, but that's not the system's fault). Pathfinder is my next favorite, though we have a less-good group.

JadedDM
2010-04-19, 01:20 PM
I started with 2E and stuck with it. I still play it to this day.

I've never played anything else, save for a very brief attempt at an OD&D game.

I suppose if you held a gun to my head, and forced me to choose between 3E/Pathfinder or 4E, I'd go with 3E/Pathfinder.

Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 01:27 PM
I started with 2E and stuck with it. I still play it to this day.

I've never played anything else, save for a very brief attempt at an OD&D game.

I suppose if you held a gun to my head, and forced me to choose between 3E/Pathfinder or 4E, I'd go with 3E/Pathfinder.

Take a look at Castles and Crusades. It's replaced 2e as my go-to D&D game.

TheLogman
2010-04-19, 01:48 PM
I started playing 1st Ed, but then played quite a bit of AD&D.

Honestly, AD&D was a lot of fun, but I really prefer 3.5.

For a number of reasons. I just like the feel of 3.5 more, I like the different rules about multiclassing, I like the potential for character expansion, I like skill ranks and feats.

Just for the increased potential of different characters I like 3.5 more. They feel the same a lot of the time.

And I really prefer both to 4.0. It's about potential and versatility for me. 4.0 has considerably less to pick and choose and change, less differences between classes, which was one of my favorite parts of 3.5.

rayne_dragon
2010-04-19, 02:36 PM
I like 4e quite a bit. My main issue against it is that it plays too differently from previous editions for me to consider it D&D.

Personally I prefer AD&D or 2nd edition over 4e and 4e over 3rd. I haven't tried pathfinder as of yet. I do like a lot of things they did with 3, but I felt things got a little silly with the prestige classes and some of the more frequently abused feats/classes/spells.

Kish
2010-04-19, 02:39 PM
I played 2ed AD&D, switched to 3ed as soon as it came out, and have very little interest in 4ed. If it was what everyone else in the group wanted to play I wouldn't make a big issue of the fact that I'd rather play 3.xed, but, I :smallsigh: when people use 4ed terminology or assumptions to refer to pre-4ed games.

Mark Hall
2010-04-19, 02:42 PM
I played 2ed AD&D, switched to 3ed as soon as it came out, and have very little interest in 4ed. If it was what everyone else in the group wanted to play I wouldn't make a big issue of the fact that I'd rather play 3.xed, but, I :smallsigh: when people use 4ed terminology or assumptions to refer to pre-4ed games.

Actually, this is something that has come up in our Pathfinder games. Two things from 4e have made it into Pathfinder:

1) Bloodied as a descriptor. It usually doesn't have a real effect, but it does give us an idea of "Ok, we're trashing these people" or "We're screwed; he's not bloodied yet."

2) Standard, Move, and Minor actions. The division works well, the trade off between them is reasonable, and it's simple to track.

erikun
2010-04-19, 02:43 PM
I started with 2nd edition, and while I didn't play that much overall, it was enough to enjoy a few games and give DMing a try. It was fun coming up with ideas for campaigns, but one of the biggest problems for my newbie DM-dom was being unable to tell what monsters were appropriate to fight at what times. Are orcs appropiate against first level characters, or are they too lethal? Just what are you supposed to throw at characters within the first few levels, and what is too dangerous? How early can I throw in fun stuff, like griffins and illithids, yet expect the party to come out alive?

I was one of the first adopters of AD&D 3rd edition. Still being relatively new to the system, I didn't have the problems making the edition change that some people apparently did. And how new and shiny the change was! THAC0 made understandable! Multiclassing restrictions removed! Lots and lots of fun prestige classes through suppliment books. No longer did I have to play a dwarf to be a fighting cleric - I had my choice between the Human Cleric/Radiant Servant of Pelor or the Human Paladin/Cleric, which was a lot closer to what I wanted in a character.

However, the warts of the system quickly became apparently. Even playing to level 5~6, we saw that many of the sub-systems in 3e were of the have/have not variety. You either had a bunch of ranks in a skill and were successful, or did not. You either had the feat to grapple an opponent, or you didn't try to. Searching a room now involved everyone standing by the doorway while the party rogue did all the work. Mostly this wasn't too bad, as rolling for skills were not something that the previous edition even had, but some of the situations (such as trying to grab an opponent, or searching a room) were just more annoying.

I did not like the appearance of 3.5 edition (or D&D v.3.5, as it called itself). The system appeared as a blatant money-grab from Wizards of the Coast, which is mostly was. The core rules were reprinted with 90% the same material, making me wonder why I should spend my money on the same book twice. Splatbooks went up in price from the $12 paperback Sword and Fist to the $25 hardcover Complete Warrior, despite having the same content. I didn't feel like replacing my dozen 3rd edition books with similar copied which cost twice as much. When I did play 3.5e, I would use a friend's PHB in the few times it became relevant.

I eventually did "make the switch", although by that I mean I've purchased about 4 books for the system that weren't originally in 3rd edition. (Well, except Expanded Psionics, which is definitely an improvement.) Overall, 3.5e is about the same as 3e, with the additional focus on minitures and the combat grid.

4th edition came out later, and after a few days, I did pick it up. Several of the complaints about it are accurate - the whole encounter/daily powers setup feels very strange when you think about it, and it is rather hard to wear down characters without just ignoring the rules. It is harder to create your character concept on paper, unless a class happens to mirror the concept specifically. On the other hand, many positive reviews of the system are also correct. Most battles are dangerous and have the potential to kill off the characters, rather than just being fought over resource deprevation. It was far easier to create characters, monsters, and challanges for both the DM and players. Skills and unusual combat maneuvers, even very strange ones, are not dependant on if you have full skill ranks or a specific feat for the occasion.

--

Overall however, if someone asked me which version of D&D I prefer playing, my response would be "none of them." I've been playing White Wolf/World of Darkness for as long as I've been with D&D, and I can still use my old Vampire: the Masquerade books for reference in my newest games. WW/WoD feels more like one large system, as opposed to three different systems (2nd ed, 3.5e, 4th ed) which are supposed to replace each other.

As for which I'd prefer, it depends on what we're playing. I would say 4th edition in general, because the system is easier to pick up and work with. I would only use 3.5e if we are working with Psionics heavily, as that and ToB are the only parts that I feel works right. (I haven't worked with Tome of Magic, though.) I certainly wouldn't mind playing in an old 2nd edition (or before) game, but I sure wouldn't want to run one.


[EDIT]
Pathfinder is just 3.5e after taking a fancy prestige class. Same thing with more bling.

JonestheSpy
2010-04-19, 02:47 PM
I played Basic, 1e, 2e, 3.0 & 3.5, and have demo'd 4.0.

1e will always have a special place in my heart, and I'd probably play it again, warts and all, if given a chance.

2e was a smooth enough transition, overall, that I had no problems with the conversion, but missed some little things (1/2 orcs, Monks, etc.).

3.0 (and its 3.5 'fix') is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different game than its antecedents. I prefer the flexibility it offers and the style of play it generally encourages, even with the system breakdowns that come from too much or too little rules-mastery.

4e is, again, a completely different game. I can see its appeal, but it's not what I want from D&D, in general.

This is my experience in a nutshell. I liked 3/3.5 because the designers looked around and incorporated elements from other games that improved on the original quite a bit (e.g. skills for everyone, not just thieves).

Everything I've seen about 4E makes me uninterested, and I certainly wouldn't blow a bunch of money on the books hen I'm perfectly happy with 3.5 .

Ashiel
2010-04-19, 03:38 PM
I prefer 3.x/Pathfinder. Honestly, my group uses a combination of 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder mechanics in our own games, and the systems are so closely linked that I'd consider them practically a single game with variations. The reason for my love of these systems are customization. Being on either side of the DM screen means lots of options for telling your stories.

Pre-3.x/Pathinder: Well, I think certain aspects of these systems are pretty awesome. The oldest D&D games didn't have such wonky alignment mechanics (for example, in OD&D, there was no alignment hangups for casting their version of Animate Dead; IIRC).

In concept, it was simpler than 3.x (you pick a class, you just increase a few base stats, occasionally you get an extra attack, a few % skill points if you're a rogue, and you may cast spells); but in practice I never found it all that simple. Each thing - right down to the ability scores - had a completely different mechanic for it, which was a pain. THAC0 was rather odd since it's like counting backwards for something that is mechanically the same as having +hit vs +AC. Throw in the core limitations of races (no Paladins of elven gods, no halfling druids), the ability score requirements to choose a class you want. Throw in the lack of a real skill system; the dual-classing mechanics which force you to meta-game; and the multi-class system which used a completely different system and generally ended up better.

The major downsides to these previous systems were the utter lack of options for characters. When I attempted to play it after D&D 3.x, having played it prior to previous editions (outside of CRPGs). Additionally, one of the things I've seen heralded was that these systems were great because they didn't have rules for stuff and that made them better games/systems (which is paradoxical). "Having a drink holder will encourage you to drink more soda and get fat; so not having a drink-holder makes it a better product." - "But I'm drinking green tea, and I need my hands for other things." - "Well then stop drinking tea!"



3.x Comparison: These are good game systems. 2E AD&D was one of the most complex RPG systems of its time. I'd say what 3.x has going for it is slightly simpler due to a unified core mechanic; while also providing a much deeper system due to skills and infinite character options due to race/class/skill/feat opportunities.

Post 3.x/Pathfinder (4E): Firstly, I would like to get this out of the way. 4E is NOT a WoW-style MMO. It infuriates me every time I hear that, because it's entirely unfair to MMOs. World of Warcraft grants no less than three different specializations of your strength (compared to the mere 2 of 4E core rules). World of Warcraft has magic using a magic system to show that magic is a consumable resource that you must conserve - . World of Warcraft allows for characters to divert their roles to a noticeable degree (warriors can be defenders, strikers, and can actually dual-wield, which fighters in core 4E cannot). World of Warcraft has druids and summoners (core 4E does not). World of Warcraft also has a system for Craft Skills such as armorsmithing, weaponsmithing, potion making, leatherworking, and a variety of gathering skills, the ability to heal people via bandages and mundane substances, even a skill for fishing to get food to eat. The only thing they have in common is no multi-classing.

It's not fair to the MMOs; so let's be fair here. Just because they do something better than a tabletop RPG (in this case, give more options), doesn't mean we should rag on them in such a way. Now where was I...?

Having the core 4E books sitting on my shelf right now, and playing a number of games of it as a DM and PC, I can say it has been a devastatingly huge disappointment. In fact, no one in our group liked it; despite my wanting to (I was very much for giving 4E a fair chance, and I wanted to love it, and I threw down some serious $$$ to buy the books even after the pdfs for them were leaked to the internet - leading me to play a few times before it was even released). However, after about 5-7 games, my group and I had enough.

It felt like a step backwards to us. Gone was the depth that 3.x/Pathfinder provided. Gone were the options. Characters are flat and lack dimensions. It fails as an RPG system because even completely basic and mundane things are beyond the scope of the core rules. I could have a 30th level fighter who cannot dual wield. He can hold a sword in both hands, but he cannot ever attack at the same time; when he should be wearing a shield. It's not that this god-like being would take penalties; he just literally cannot do it.

Each character class in 4E core has two options. You pick either ability score A, or ability score B and focus your character based around 2 trees of special abilities; picking and selecting the ones that are associated with your character. A huge number of skills - especially the noncombat ones - were gutted from the system entirely. All classes use the same mechanics (another point for WoW because at least playing a Paladin is hugely different from playing a Warrior or a Priest); and they removed magic from the game. By magic, I mean wizards shoot lazer beams, and "magic" now requires an ATM card and half-an-hour of preparation.

Multi-classing is dead in core 4E. That's really all there is to say about it. If you want to combine say, being a fighter and being a wizard, then you will either cast magic missile once per fight, or you will swing your sword at two people once per fight; then end. You can also take the advanced classes from your "multi-class" but it didn't appeal to us very much; and didn't feel very special. Also, the mechanic was broken in core immediately (notice that in core 4E a X/ranger can't take ranger paragon classes - go look).

It fails to address many fantasy staples. There's no necromancy, no enchantment, no transmutation. Magic pretty much consists of blasting; or divining via your ATM machine. There are no transformations, mind control, animating the dead, summoning mystical beasts, and so forth. Essentially, it couldn't do anything of the things that all versions of D&D that I know of cover within their core rules at least a little.

There's no rules for hardness and such. If you follow the RAW, a wizard can punch their way through an adamantine door. DM fiat can say that it doesn't work, but then what does? Does blasting it work? Does hitting it with a sword? If you can't break it without DM fiat why even give objects hit points? If you follow the rules, then there's also less reason to break out your ATM card and spend ten minutes casting Knock; assuming the fighter/paladin/cleric/rogue/warlock/ranger doesn't do the same.

If I got into talking about the 4E MM I think I'd be here typing for a few years; so I'm going to skip it. Let's just say, it too was filled with disappointment.


3.x Comparison: Ultimately, there's not much to say here. 4E has a lot of missing components and limitations of old-school D&D, with less options for characters (since it doesn't even have multi-classing), lacks fantasy staples, etc, etc.

To be fair, it has great mechanical balance in the system (as long as you ignore the broken combos in 4E core; or download the Patch-errata...ok, maybe you could say that was like an MMO, but I still don't think that's fair). It makes for a great board game; or D&D-lite for beginners like with the 3.0 starter set that came out with the 3E launch. While I don't find it to be a great method for playing D&D, it's of course very usable as a role-playing game system...

Then again, the system I cooked up in 3 minutes using flip-coins and LEGOS allowed my younger brother and I to game on a family vacation; so people that love to role-play will do so; regardless of mechanical limitations.


If my post sounds a bit skewed; well, it's just based on personal experiences and the rule-systems in question. I note, again, that I was head over heels ready to play some 4E when it came out; only to dislike it more and more as we played. People say it's great on the DM. I hated it DMing. I hated it more as a player after I realized there was 2 ways to play anything.

Anyway, I'm off to get a shower and maybe play Avatar:TLAB d20 later; or hop on OpenRPG to see what they're up to today. :smallsmile:

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-19, 03:54 PM
"Having a drink holder will encourage you to drink more soda and get fat; so not having a drink-holder makes it a better product." - "But I'm drinking green tea, and I need my hands for other things." - "Well then stop drinking tea!"


This is just... great. It explains gratly the lack of some people in understanding that if you could, does not means you should, or at least, not all the times.

Captain Six
2010-04-19, 03:55 PM
I play 2 AD&D but I didn't start with it. I really enjoy it and it would be my favorite in an instant if I understood it as well as I did 3rd ed. What I like most is that it starts out very simple and it's up to the DM to add options, unlike 3rd where it's up to the DM to say what you CAN'T play.

4th I haven't gotten around to playing. I need a reason to get into a new system and 4th hasn't given me one.

Tequila Sunrise
2010-04-19, 04:14 PM
Just wondering if those who played D&D before 3rd edition came out, if they like 4th edition at all?

:::Edit:::
Would you rather play 4th edition, pathfinder or 3.5?
4th, without a doubt!

2nd got me hooked on role playing. 3rd turned out to be a huge improvement, after I got over my hesitancy to try it. I'm sure PF is an improvement on 3rd, but I've never actually played it. By the time 4th came around, I had no hesitancy issues at all, and I've never looked back.

Well, I look back a little. I do miss Toni DiTerlizzi's illustrations, and all that Planescape attitude. :smallcool:

Matthew
2010-04-19, 06:37 PM
This is just... great. It explains gratly the lack of some people in understanding that if you could, does not means you should, or at least, not all the times.

To be honest, what you are quoting is a bit of a strawman (and I really hate using that term). However, if that were the argument people were making, it certainly would be a reasonable rebuttal... :smallbiggrin:

Kaun
2010-04-19, 07:29 PM
I prefer 3.x/Pathfinder. Honestly, my group uses a combination of 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder mechanics in our own games, and the systems are so closely linked that I'd consider them practically a single game with variations. The reason for my love of these systems are customization. Being on either side of the DM screen means lots of options for telling your stories.

Pre-3.x/Pathinder: Well, I think certain aspects of these systems are pretty awesome. The oldest D&D games didn't have such wonky alignment mechanics (for example, in OD&D, there was no alignment hangups for casting their version of Animate Dead; IIRC).

In concept, it was simpler than 3.x (you pick a class, you just increase a few base stats, occasionally you get an extra attack, a few % skill points if you're a rogue, and you may cast spells); but in practice I never found it all that simple. Each thing - right down to the ability scores - had a completely different mechanic for it, which was a pain. THAC0 was rather odd since it's like counting backwards for something that is mechanically the same as having +hit vs +AC. Throw in the core limitations of races (no Paladins of elven gods, no halfling druids), the ability score requirements to choose a class you want. Throw in the lack of a real skill system; the dual-classing mechanics which force you to meta-game; and the multi-class system which used a completely different system and generally ended up better.

The major downsides to these previous systems were the utter lack of options for characters. When I attempted to play it after D&D 3.x, having played it prior to previous editions (outside of CRPGs). Additionally, one of the things I've seen heralded was that these systems were great because they didn't have rules for stuff and that made them better games/systems (which is paradoxical). "Having a drink holder will encourage you to drink more soda and get fat; so not having a drink-holder makes it a better product." - "But I'm drinking green tea, and I need my hands for other things." - "Well then stop drinking tea!"



3.x Comparison: These are good game systems. 2E AD&D was one of the most complex RPG systems of its time. I'd say what 3.x has going for it is slightly simpler due to a unified core mechanic; while also providing a much deeper system due to skills and infinite character options due to race/class/skill/feat opportunities.

Post 3.x/Pathfinder (4E): Firstly, I would like to get this out of the way. 4E is NOT a WoW-style MMO. It infuriates me every time I hear that, because it's entirely unfair to MMOs. World of Warcraft grants no less than three different specializations of your strength (compared to the mere 2 of 4E core rules). World of Warcraft has magic using a magic system to show that magic is a consumable resource that you must conserve - . World of Warcraft allows for characters to divert their roles to a noticeable degree (warriors can be defenders, strikers, and can actually dual-wield, which fighters in core 4E cannot). World of Warcraft has druids and summoners (core 4E does not). World of Warcraft also has a system for Craft Skills such as armorsmithing, weaponsmithing, potion making, leatherworking, and a variety of gathering skills, the ability to heal people via bandages and mundane substances, even a skill for fishing to get food to eat. The only thing they have in common is no multi-classing.

It's not fair to the MMOs; so let's be fair here. Just because they do something better than a tabletop RPG (in this case, give more options), doesn't mean we should rag on them in such a way. Now where was I...?

Having the core 4E books sitting on my shelf right now, and playing a number of games of it as a DM and PC, I can say it has been a devastatingly huge disappointment. In fact, no one in our group liked it; despite my wanting to (I was very much for giving 4E a fair chance, and I wanted to love it, and I threw down some serious $$$ to buy the books even after the pdfs for them were leaked to the internet - leading me to play a few times before it was even released). However, after about 5-7 games, my group and I had enough.

It felt like a step backwards to us. Gone was the depth that 3.x/Pathfinder provided. Gone were the options. Characters are flat and lack dimensions. It fails as an RPG system because even completely basic and mundane things are beyond the scope of the core rules. I could have a 30th level fighter who cannot dual wield. He can hold a sword in both hands, but he cannot ever attack at the same time; when he should be wearing a shield. It's not that this god-like being would take penalties; he just literally cannot do it.

Each character class in 4E core has two options. You pick either ability score A, or ability score B and focus your character based around 2 trees of special abilities; picking and selecting the ones that are associated with your character. A huge number of skills - especially the noncombat ones - were gutted from the system entirely. All classes use the same mechanics (another point for WoW because at least playing a Paladin is hugely different from playing a Warrior or a Priest); and they removed magic from the game. By magic, I mean wizards shoot lazer beams, and "magic" now requires an ATM card and half-an-hour of preparation.

Multi-classing is dead in core 4E. That's really all there is to say about it. If you want to combine say, being a fighter and being a wizard, then you will either cast magic missile once per fight, or you will swing your sword at two people once per fight; then end. You can also take the advanced classes from your "multi-class" but it didn't appeal to us very much; and didn't feel very special. Also, the mechanic was broken in core immediately (notice that in core 4E a X/ranger can't take ranger paragon classes - go look).

It fails to address many fantasy staples. There's no necromancy, no enchantment, no transmutation. Magic pretty much consists of blasting; or divining via your ATM machine. There are no transformations, mind control, animating the dead, summoning mystical beasts, and so forth. Essentially, it couldn't do anything of the things that all versions of D&D that I know of cover within their core rules at least a little.

There's no rules for hardness and such. If you follow the RAW, a wizard can punch their way through an adamantine door. DM fiat can say that it doesn't work, but then what does? Does blasting it work? Does hitting it with a sword? If you can't break it without DM fiat why even give objects hit points? If you follow the rules, then there's also less reason to break out your ATM card and spend ten minutes casting Knock; assuming the fighter/paladin/cleric/rogue/warlock/ranger doesn't do the same.

If I got into talking about the 4E MM I think I'd be here typing for a few years; so I'm going to skip it. Let's just say, it too was filled with disappointment.


3.x Comparison: Ultimately, there's not much to say here. 4E has a lot of missing components and limitations of old-school D&D, with less options for characters (since it doesn't even have multi-classing), lacks fantasy staples, etc, etc.

To be fair, it has great mechanical balance in the system (as long as you ignore the broken combos in 4E core; or download the Patch-errata...ok, maybe you could say that was like an MMO, but I still don't think that's fair). It makes for a great board game; or D&D-lite for beginners like with the 3.0 starter set that came out with the 3E launch. While I don't find it to be a great method for playing D&D, it's of course very usable as a role-playing game system...

Then again, the system I cooked up in 3 minutes using flip-coins and LEGOS allowed my younger brother and I to game on a family vacation; so people that love to role-play will do so; regardless of mechanical limitations.


If my post sounds a bit skewed; well, it's just based on personal experiences and the rule-systems in question. I note, again, that I was head over heels ready to play some 4E when it came out; only to dislike it more and more as we played. People say it's great on the DM. I hated it DMing. I hated it more as a player after I realized there was 2 ways to play anything.

Anyway, I'm off to get a shower and maybe play Avatar:TLAB d20 later; or hop on OpenRPG to see what they're up to today. :smallsmile:

Please please please can we stop useing the CORE 4e books as the bench mark for the systems class flexability. For example there is no longer just 2 diffrent paths a fighters can take, there is 4 + hybrids. If we are going to keep using this as an argument then please ignore all material not printed in the 3 core books of either 3 or 3.5

Now to the question, i played some basic, alot of AD&D a fair bit of 3 and basicly dodged 3.5, mainly becaise i didnt want to spend so much money on almost the same system.

I have given 4e a good year and a half of solid play and my thoughts as to which one i would rather play is!!!

None of them.. Give me deadlands or Shadowrun or L5R orone of the many other games out there that i love to play.

EDIT:

Also as a side note.


World of Warcraft allows for characters to divert their roles to a noticeable degree (warriors can be defenders, strikers, and can actually dual-wield, which fighters in core 4E cannot)

If my memory serves me correctly Warriors were so brokenly underpowered on release that sword and board for PVE and not PVPing was about all the viable options you had with them for most of the first year.

Kish
2010-04-19, 07:32 PM
World of Warcraft has druids and summoners (core 4E does not).

Druids were added in a patch after WoW launched. Hm, remind you of anything? :smalltongue:

Kaun
2010-04-19, 07:34 PM
Druids were added in a patch after WoW launched. Hm, remind you of anything? :smalltongue:

Really? I am fairly sure they where there at release.

Ashiel
2010-04-19, 08:12 PM
Please please please can we stop useing the CORE 4e books as the bench mark for the systems class flexability. For example there is no longer just 2 diffrent paths a fighters can take, there is 4 + hybrids. If we are going to keep using this as an argument then please ignore all material not printed in the 3 core books of either 3 or 3.5

I was. Did I make mention of a million splat books? No. I made mention of core. I never said otherwise. The system was so bad at its core, that I had no desire to go out and drop more $$$ trying to "patch it up" to the "latest version" so that it could be playable at things most RPG systems can do by default. I would take core 3.5 over core 4E any day of the week.

Effectively, it has taken them, what? Over a year before they've produced something that could be considered multi-classing? You had to get a splat-book for fighters to dual wield without house-ruling. That is made of failure.

EDIT: Now, I've got online friends who have suggested that I pirate the pdfs for the books instead of buying them; but if it's not worth buying, why should I bother? Here's the dig.

3.x adds splat-books to give more options.

4E adds splat-books so you have options.


If my memory serves me correctly Warriors were so brokenly underpowered on release that sword and board for PVE and not PVPing was about all the viable options you had with them for most of the first year.

I'm not entirely certain about that; but I know that warriors were actually considered incredibly strong by the time they hit level 60 in Vanilla wow. In fact; they were one of the only classes who could actually stomp on a rogue (who could kill you for ever and ever and ever); but they could theoretically stomp on other things too.

Vanilla WoW Balance Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LmlOiQw_Ng)


Druids were added in a patch after WoW launched. Hm, remind you of anything?
Druids were there as part of the launch; and were even included in the opening cinema for the game. Humorously, they were also complained about by inexperienced players for being overpowered because they could tank like a warrior, blast like a mage, and heal like a priest (now this does sound familiar). However, it was mainly just that people couldn't wrap their heads around changing their tactics when they shapeshifted into a tank-spec or DPS or caster.

Kaun
2010-04-19, 08:32 PM
I would take core 3.5 over core 4E any day of the week.

More power to you but keep in mind 3.5 was a fix up of 3 that was how many years in the making?



3.x adds splat-books to give more options.

4E adds splat-books so you have options.


Just as a point of note tho the differance between dule weilding fighter and any other fighter in 3.5 is essentialy about 3 feats, it is a hell of alot more in 4e.




I'm not entirely certain about that; but I know that warriors were actually considered incredibly strong by the time they hit level 60 in Vanilla wow. In fact; they were one of the only classes who could actually stomp on a rogue (who could kill you for ever and ever and ever); but they could theoretically stomp on other things too.

Vanilla WoW Balance Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LmlOiQw_Ng)



This is true for the last half of Vanilla WoW but on release and for most of the first year they were in a fight with warlocks for the bottom of the ladder.

Gametime
2010-04-19, 09:58 PM
3.x adds splat-books to give more options.

4E adds splat-books so you have options.




Without overtly stating a preference for one system or another, I've never understood why people were more happy having fighters with terrible options than fighters who could do a few things really well.

A fighter in core 3.5 has lots of options - he can fail to grapple the monster, or ineffectually bull rush it, or fail to disarm it, or maybe, once in a blue moon, succeed at tripping it. Most of the time, a full attack is the best tactical choice for him to make. He has the illusion of a world of choice, but if he wants to be at all effective, he'll end up doing the same thing a lot.

The 4e fighter can't do half of those things, but the things he can do are vastly more useful in the context of the edition.

El Dorado
2010-04-19, 10:02 PM
My experience is a bit skewed and will focus on the my impressions of 2nd and 3rd edition but I'll chime in. My regular group started off with 2nd edition, transitioned into a homebrew that borrowed heavily from 2e (spells, nonweapon proficiencies), tweaked the homebrew some more (used 3.5 spells and skills), and finally went full-on 3.5e. I've also played a handful of 3.0 and 4e games (with different groups/DMs).

Beyond the rules, one notable difference is the change in philosophy from 2nd to 3rd. In 2nd edition, the reins of the games were firmly in the hands of the DM, especially in terms of magic item acquisition and character building. The race and class books added kits, a handful of new spells, and sometimes optional rules but nothing game-breaking. Optimization was unheard of, beyond, "hey DM, can I get this magic item?" (at least in my group and only on the rare occasion there was a magic shop).

3rd edition quantified a lot more areas and put more power in the hands of the players. I was delighted that clerics broke the healbot mold but was surprised at the emergence of batman wizards (evoker was the caster of choice, back in the day).

There also elements in 3e that can cultivate a sense of entitlement among players. The DMG encourages DMs to try to give players what they want---moreso than in any previous edition. Other elements (splatbooks, feats, magic item compendium, WBL) can contribute to this environment. The variety of resources available to a player can make for some truly fun gaming but if the DM denies a request (because it's overpowered or doesn't mesh with his campaign setting), there are also more opportunities for bruised feelings.

It also seems like DMs have a ton more prep work in 3e vs 2e (people who've actually DM'd, feel free to confirm or deny). There is a lot more information and players have a ton more options so even casual games represent a significant time investment for DMs.

4e is a different animal and hard to compare to earlier editions. At first glance, your classes are much more rigid (like 2e PCs) and skills are closer to nonweapon proficiencies (you have them or you don't and not as broad a selection as 3e). It seems like it's hard to make a bad choice. Even if you picked your powers at random as you leveled, you still have something playable (it's much easier to muck up 3e).

I'd be curious if there are any players who have are going from 2nd to 4th with no knowledge of 3rd edition (is there such a person?). Myself, I'd lean toward 4e. I know 3e a ton better so 4e still has that luster of newness for me.

Kylarra
2010-04-19, 10:06 PM
The 4e fighter can't do half of those things, but the things he can do are vastly more useful in the context of the edition.Well, he can still grapple and bullrush half decently. I say half because you lose weapon proficiency bonus, netting an effective -2 to -4 penalty to the attack, but yeah.

erikun
2010-04-19, 10:28 PM
Well, he can still grapple and bullrush half decently. I say half because you lose weapon proficiency bonus, netting an effective -2 to -4 penalty to the attack, but yeah.
Attempting a grapple without the Improved Grapple feat provokes an attack of opportunity; if the attack deals damage, then the grapple automatically fails. That is, a goblin with a dagger can keep a hill giant with 50 STR from grappling him, as long as he keeps stabbing.

The same applies to disarming. (Bull rush, trip, and sunder provoke the AoO but do not fail if the attack hits.)

Kylarra
2010-04-19, 10:30 PM
Attempting a grapple without the Improved Grapple feat provokes an attack of opportunity; if the attack deals damage, then the grapple automatically fails. That is, a goblin with a dagger can keep a hill giant with 50 STR from grappling him, as long as he keeps stabbing.

The same applies to disarming. (Bull rush, trip, and sunder provoke the AoO but do not fail if the attack hits.)I meant the 4e fighter, in case it wasn't clear by mention of variable proficiency bonus loss. I was pointing out that the 4e fighter can do exactly half those things, not less than half, and actually, you do have at-wills that can situationally bullrush (tide of iron) and grab (grappling strike) so I guess I stand corrected on the half-decently part.

erikun
2010-04-19, 10:40 PM
Oh, I read that as what the 3.5e Fighter can do. Oops.

But yes, with Athletics and Acrobatics training, the 4e Fighter can do all kinds of fun stunts that the 3.5e Fighter either couldn't, or needed a feat. Bull Rush is a Strength check. Grappling is a Strength check. Escaping a grapple is an Acrobatics/Athletics check. Also, these "attacks" are against Fortitude/Reflex, so the weapon proficiency bonus loss doesn't matter as much. (Losing the magical weapon bonuses at higher levels will, though.)

Kaiyanwang
2010-04-20, 02:00 AM
Attempting a grapple without the Improved Grapple feat provokes an attack of opportunity; if the attack deals damage, then the grapple automatically fails. That is, a goblin with a dagger can keep a hill giant with 50 STR from grappling him, as long as he keeps stabbing.

The same applies to disarming. (Bull rush, trip, and sunder provoke the AoO but do not fail if the attack hits.)

Actually, for grappling is false. IIRC, grappling is one of the maneuvers that is allowed to continue even if thee AOO hits.

EDIT: see below.

You can trip anyway with tripping weapons. Fighter:Weapons=Wizard:Spells.

And, at least in my experience, yes, 3.5 suffers the "you nead a feat to do that" syndrome (you cannot go to bathroom without i'imptoved bathhrom' feat) but, not to be offending for the people above, for what I've seen in my experience, a core skilled fighter player was recognizable from what maneuver perform, against which enemy, and maybe at what point of his full attack.

I'v to admit that my players regulated themselves (of the partywealth, more were deserved to meleers) but this does not seems to me a "ZOMG impossible fix you don't play by RAW fighter suxx".

erikun
2010-04-20, 02:59 AM
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/specialAttacks.htm#grapple


Step 1
Attack of Opportunity. You provoke an attack of opportunity from the target you are trying to grapple. If the attack of opportunity deals damage, the grapple attempt fails. (Certain monsters do not provoke attacks of opportunity when they attempt to grapple, nor do characters with the Improved Grapple feat.) If the attack of opportunity misses or fails to deal damage, proceed to Step 2.

Yeah, it's annoying when half the maneuvers stop from an AoO while the other half do not. Yet another weird inconsistency with 3.5e.

JediSoth
2010-04-20, 07:57 AM
Just wondering if those who played D&D before 3rd edition came out, if they like 4th edition at all?

:::Edit:::
Would you rather play 4th edition, pathfinder or 3.5?

I started playing with BECMI and combined it with 1st ed. AD&D ('cause I didn't know any better). By the time 2nd ed. came out, I switched over to that and had a great number of campaigns and adventures with that system. I fiddled with the rules and concepts a bit and by the time 3rd ed. came out, I had a nice, houseruled system that fulfilled my needs.

I played 3rd. ed. throughout its run. When 4E came out, I didn't care much for the changes I heard about and it wasn't until it was around for almost a year before I tried it. I ran a few sessions (maybe half-a-dozen) and played in a game at Gen Con '09.

It's not the game for me. It's not really my brand of fantasy. There's just something about the minimal fluff I got out of the first three books that rubbed me the wrong way and I didn't like the increase in power level. Everything seemed to be about the Kewl Powerz. I realized that it didn't really feel like D&D to me; too many sacred cows had been sacrificed in the name of making a cool new game.

Now, there's nothing wrong with that and there are plenty of people who love D&D 4E and think it's the best version of the game ever. I disagree with them. *shrug* Doesn't bother me in the least. I do acknowledge that the 4E engine could make a butt-kickin' superhero game, though.

Pathfinder is a little more my speed; I see it as a natural progression of the rules that were developed from 3rd ed. (which themselves were obviously developed from 1st ed. & 2nd ed.). 4E feels like a totally different game with a lot of minor similarities.

In the end, as I get older and have less time to sit around and devour the minutiae of games, I find myself interested in rules-light systems more and more. In fact, D&D is not even in the top 3 games I want to play right now (it's been replaced by Shadowrun 4th ed., Eclipse Phase, and Spirit of the Century....and yes, I realized Shadowrun is far from rules-light). I've actually found myself leaning away from Pathfinder as my fantasy game of choice and leaning more towards Hackmaster (Basic and the forthcoming Advanced, not the silly parody rules of HM4). Years of trying to reign in powergaming and min-maxing have soured me on fiddly systems like D20.

I guess I'm just getting old and cranky. :smalltongue:

Coplantor
2010-04-20, 08:05 AM
I played 2nd edition from 2001 to 2007 and moved to 3.5 in january of 2008, been playing it since, I played 4th ed a couple of times.

My opinion? I like all of them.

I like 2nd edition better for low magic campaigns, it's simpler to create a character and level him up. Yeah, there was none to zero customization, so you could just forget about the build and focus on the character.

3.5 is so complex that I can use it for pretty much anything, specially since there are oh so many supplements, character optimization is a freaking art and I love it, specially when you combine it with a character concept rather than "I want to be the ultimate beign in the universe!"

4th edition suits high fantasy better and it's the only edition in wich characters start as they should, being heros. Yeah, it reminds me of some videogame mechanics, but compared to the previous editions is a jewel of balance.

It's all a matter of taste and needs. I would play 4th edition more often, but if one of my group does not want to play X game then we dont play it, and we have a guy who thinks 4th edition is stupid because clerics are overpowered, that after playing only once and his idea of "overpowered" was that a cleric is a better healbot than it was in 3rd ed, that and one daily power wich striked in a burst around the cleric.

Kish
2010-04-20, 03:41 PM
Really? I am fairly sure they where there at release.
Ah, yes, I stand corrected. Could have sworn they were patched in.

Bigbrother87
2010-04-20, 11:00 PM
Background, then opinions:

I have only been playing D&D for a little over a year now, but my interest goes back further. I was reading forums about D&D and learning since 2007, but it was in 4e where I actually took an interest and started reading the books.

My level of knowledge in both 4e and 3.5e both remained about even, with no practice playing the games, until the World Wide Game Day for the 4e Monster Manual II. I had played a few Play-by-post 4e games before then, but that was my first experience with miniatures.
I have since also DMed in the 4e WWGD for the Players Handbook III.

Last spring, through a school project, I met up with an older couple who had played AD&D 2e, still had the books, and he was interested in starting a game. We have had the chance to get a little through "In Search of the Unknown", to the Chapel in "The Tomb of Horrors", and had just rolled up characters for "The Masque of the Red Death" when out of game problems took him out of the role of DM.

I am even now planning what I'll do with the characters as their DM, starting with a world creation session using the Dawn of Worlds material, and then I'll get them rolling in "Return to the Keep on the Borderlands."

What follows are my own personal opinions.

D&D 3.5
This is the system I first read about, and it still has my favorite classes and abilities (the druid with animal companion and the sorcerer). I haven't had a chance to play it, but I see it as a game with almost too many options for the players, which can be overwhelming.

D&D 4th
The system I first had a chance to play, and the system that most feels like a video game to me. When I DMed the WWGD for the Players Handbook III, it felt like I was just running the players through a series of challenges, and not giving them a complete story. Granted, I had about 20 minutes to read the module before I ran it, but everyone still had a good time.


AD&D 2nd
The first system I seriously got to play in, the system I'm DMing in now, and the system where I feel the story is more important than the combat. While playing 4e, a friend of mine was saying "I'll use X ability on him, and push him over here, setting him up for Y player. Dm: You hit, and it slides to here."
The same player, in 2e, said things like "I roll to attack with my dagger by jumping and stabbing it into the creatures skull! *rolls* DM: You take a flying leap and your dagger lodges into the creatures skull. You're now hanging in front of the things face, and it's grinning at you.

AD&D 2e is, in my opinion, the more fun system because it leaves the specifics up to the players and the DM, while 4e has everything gridded out and planned for.

Bottom Line:
AD&D 2e: Preferred, more story driven by necessity.
D&D 3.5: Lots of fun options, never had a chance to seriously play.
D&D 4e: Combat via miniatures. Fun, but too game-mechanics focused for my taste.

That's my opinion though, and can be taken however you please.

Remmirath
2010-04-20, 11:29 PM
I started playing with 1st edition, then with 1st and 2nd somewhat blended together. I never actually played pure 2nd edition, as we never ended up with a full set of those books.
I switched to 3.0 about ... six or seven years ago, I think, and have since acquired some 3.5 books. I've played 4th a couple times at the insistence of friends who no longer want to play anything else (thankfully my usual group is of the same opinion as I am).

I don't like 4th. I don't really see that it has much in common with 1st/2nd, either. The only things I can think of that might be in common are tenuous and negative (not as much character customisation, for instance).

I prefer 3.0/3.5 for the most part, although I do still like 1st and 2nd. I've learned to tolerate 4th, but only every now and then.

I feel that 4th took a step backwards in many areas, such as removing a whole bunch of skills. I am not fond of most of the mechanics of it, I don't like the powers, and all in all it just doesn't have anything I particularly like about it or think is better.

Soranar
2010-04-20, 11:52 PM
Well I played and DMed 2nd and 3rd edition (3.5 included)

I played a handful of 4th

Here's what I remember from each

2nd edition

The bad
-was very complicated to explain,new players were lost for a while
-succeeding on a saving throw was insanely hard so if you weren't immune to an effect, you were likely to die from it
-low hitpoints (max hp bonus for non fighter types was +2 and after level 9 you stopped gaining more than 3 HP)
-to balance that out, magic items and class features could make you immune to everything so a cheap DM was literally a death sentence
-Monks were broken
-minimum stat requirements for certain classes were really high (Paladin, ranger, Druid, etc)
-you are what you wear, magic items defined the strength of most classes except wizard and monks


The good

-ability scores had a maximum (25) and were not that important unless you needed to meet prerequisites for classes, eventually spells and magic items could make up for bad stats (since they set stats to a number instead of simply boosting it)
-most classes had genuine abilities that a wizard could not work around easily (rage gave a LOT of immunities, a wizard slayer was a genuine threat with a bow, a paladin became godlike with a holy avenger)
-while wizard/sorcerers were still broken (a DnD tradition I think) , most other classes were balanced enough or at least useful, harder to find a completely useless class in 2nd edition


3.0, 3.5

the bad

-game balance, instead of having 1 or two classes that are obviously superior to others, you have dozens
-skillpoints are too important , skills are not balanced in utility
-ranged combat lost a lot compared to 2nd edition
-dual wielding is terrible compared to 2nd edition
-immediate actions, swift actions, free actions, standard actions: there are way too many things a mage can do in 6 seconds!
-many downright terrible classes (truenamer, samurai, etc)

the good
-way more options, you can customize your characters a lot more (through feats) as compared to specializing in weapons like in 2nd
-half attacks are gone (I attack 5 times in 2 rounds?) those were just confusing
-templates and extra races give more options= more fun
-I like the LA price to use certain races, I find it often balances well (there are exceptions but most are fair,not the dragon mag obviously)
-you don't need to be immune to everything like in 2nd edition, saving throws are actually capable of saving you
-you can optimize a lot more, in 2nd optimization was mostly : play a human kensai, dual at level 9
-prestige classes, again more options

4th edition

the bad

-they balanced the game but it made every classes feel the same
-very limited options, which can be explained to the fact that it's relatively new (3.5 and 2nd had a long time to publish all of their stuff)
-too early, unlike previous editions this one doesn't feel like a relief (people I know weren't tired of 3.5 yet)
-feels expensive, 2nd edition was expensive because nobody played it (especially translated versions which were twice the cost for us poor French players) and the books were high in quality, 3.5 was relatively cheap as a lot of the resources you needed were online (although the DM still needed a lot of stuff) and the splatbooks were cheaper than the core books , 4th feels like a marketing gimmick as you have far fewer options per book so less bang for your buck

The good

-simple rules, easy to grasp for new players
-it's new so it can still surprise us (say with a 4.5)
-people who never played 3.5 won't care that it's limited, and the fact that it's simpler to play means that more people are bound to play it eventually

holywhippet
2010-04-21, 12:47 AM
Second edition was reasonably simple - but had some holdovers like THAC0 and AC counting downwards instead of upwards. Some of the side effects of magic could be pretty brutal.

Third edition tried to formalise certain things and make them more intuitive - like being able to choose a different class when you level so as to make say, a fighter with some thief skill easier to build. Problem is, the system they devised only makes sense if all classes are created equal - they aren't. Not to mention the +2 to full progression saves when you take a new class. It was broken, but quite fun regardless.

Fourth edition is in some ways a step forward and a step backwards. Skills like cooking or basket weaving have been erased as they aren't things an adventurer should be needing. Fixed stat building and HP progression makes a lot more sense than using dice rolls. Problem is, a lot of the mad exploits are all gone which was where a lot of players got their fun from. If you want to know what a class can do in 4E - looks at it's primary and secondary roles to get an idea of what it's powers will be like. The classes are no longer as distinct as a result.

Telasi
2010-04-21, 01:26 AM
I started with 3.5, transitioned to 4, and picked up AD&D 2 recently. I like all three editions, though I have different preferences for each.

I appreciate how simple the AD&D rules are, compared to 3.5, at least. I'm the type who doesn't mind rolling stats, so I appreciate the tables more lenient attitude toward bad rolls. I'm also one of the probably few people not confused or annoyed with THAC0; maybe I just have a head for numbers. My favorite bit about 2nd ed., however, is the multiclassing. Simpler than 3.5 without the suck of 4e multiclassing, and there's no real downside. Of course, in AD&D, you risk losing your character very much on the whims of the dice, more than any other edition or game I've played. Class/Race of choice: Half-elf Mage/Thief or Fighter/Mage.

I never played 3.0, so I can't speak about third edition as a whole, but 3.5 is a mixed bag, in my opinion. The rules are less harsh on PCs than AD&D 2, but still lethal in comparison with 4th. Unfortunately, said rules are also more complicated than those of the other two editions mentioned.The best part of 3.5 is the sheer variety of options available to players; given the right sourcebook(s), you can make any character you want. Class/Race of choice: Elf Wizard.

4th edition is dramatically different than those discussed above. It is far more balanced than older versions, which is both its greatest strength and one of its weaknesses. The advantage is that the mechanics do not punish anyone for playing whatever class they choose and munchkins have a harder time breaking games. On the down side, it also means that much of the flavor has been lost from spellcasting classes in particular. My single largest complaint against 4e is the enforcement of the class/role system. I personally find it limits what I can do with my characters, so I end up sticking to the same old class/race combos I've liked. In the end, though, my single favorite character of is a 4e Half-Drow ranger. Class/Race of choice: Half-Elf Ranger

SpikeFightwicky
2010-04-21, 06:59 AM
Well, I've been playing D&D for a LONG time, so here's my 2 sense:

2nd Ed. AD&D:

- Probably still my favorite. It was rules light enough to let me do everything I wanted as a DM. I always DMed Ravenloft and my group quite a bit of fun. It also backfired when a friend kept wanting DMing, and his girlfriend joined. That was sort of the beginning of the end (none of us had much fun after that).

3.X

- Looking back, I definately miss this system more than I thought I would. My current group hates most things D&D, so I likely won't ever be able to play again (though I have tons of books, and tons of campaigns and homebrew I designed but never had time to DM). Almost everything in the game had a rule for it, which was good and bad. For example, one session, I wanted to leap onto a giant's back and go after him Mickey Mouse style (Jack and the Beanstalk), but the DM said that was covered under the 'Grapple' rules (Ugh... it most definitely wasn't...). Wouldn't mind going back.

4.0

- I've recently started playing it, and it's definitely fun. Everyone seems to be able to do something meaningful in a fight. It feels very 'pulp fantasy' style. Not sure that I enjoy it as much as a good 3.5 game, though.

Pathfinder

- I don't see the point. It seems more like it's just a new campaign setting with different rules. I like where they were going with a lot of the changes, but all in all it felt like they kept it too similar to 3.5, (IE not enough changes to warrant ditching 3.5 - I only played the one time, but the group decided to stick to either 3.5 or 4.0 afterwards).

Blacky the Blackball
2010-04-21, 07:42 AM
I started playing D&D in 1981, and I've played every version from Holmes Basic onwards.

I think if I had to rank them from least favourite to most favourite, it would be in this order:

Holmes Basic - This is just incomplete as a game, as far as I am concerned. It had lots of potential, but that potential was realised in later editions of the game. There's really nothing but historic curiosity left in this version.

3.x - I'm really not a fan of the "system mastery" aspect of the game, plus the game is severely unbalanced in favour of spell casters and is too complex. I doubt I'll ever be persuaded to play this edition again.

B/X - A good solid version of the game, and it feels complete. It's a bit limited in scope, though (but nowhere near as limited as Holmes Basic).

4e - This is 3e done "correctly" as far as I am concerned. The problems that 3e had in terms of imbalance and required mastery of the system are mostly gone - it's much more balanced and deep system mastery is no longer essential, which is good for those of us who don't care for optimisation and so forth. However, it is somewhat slow and complex for my tastes. I'd play it again, but I'd rather be playing a different edition.

AD&D 2e - Ah, now we're getting somewhere. I wasn't keen on most of the changes between AD&D 1e and 2e, but they're both great games (and similar enough that there's not much in it in terms of my preference).

AD&D 1e - I prefer this to AD&D 2e, but there isn't much in it to be honest. Unlike the post-TSR versions of D&D, it's more concerned with having fun and adventuring than it is with complex systems and rules.

BECMI - My favourite version. It stays nice and balanced all the way up to 36th level, then takes you right into the immortal levels which are way more epic than 3.x's or 4e's "Epic" levels. It's as much fun, and just as "realistic" as AD&D, but simpler and quicker to play. Plus it has great rules for PCs ruling over dominions and waging full scale wars, as well as just fighting in dungeons.

In fact, I love BECMI so much that I've spent the last 8 months writing a retro-clone of it, which has recently reached a "First Draft" stage (complete and playable but not yet edited and prettied up). Follow the link in my sig if you want to download it and check it out...

Optimystik
2010-04-21, 07:48 AM
When 4e has some CRPGs out for it then I will gladly jump on the bandwagon, but for now 3.5 rules my roost.

It irritates me, because 4e is the system that could most easily fit a CRPG. What's taking them so long? I think they're just dragging their feet so they can sell more miniatures.

hamlet
2010-04-21, 08:03 AM
In fact, I love BECMI so much that I've spent the last 8 months writing a retro-clone of it, which has recently reached a "First Draft" stage (complete and playable but not yet edited and prettied up). Follow the link in my sig if you want to download it and check it out...

What was wrong with Labyrinth Lord then? It's most of BECMI with just a lot of the optional stuff trimmed out and the bare bones of the system left.

Granted, it isn't the Rules Cyclopedia, which is just about the best game book there is out there, but it's dang close in a lot of ways and it's pathetically easy to add anything you want back into it.

Plus, you know, free.

Pluto
2010-04-21, 08:14 AM
I started playing third edition around the time 3.5 was released.

I played a lot of 3.X for about 5 years, with occasional one-shots and singular adventures using OSRIC (that's AD&D 1e, right?)

Like everyone, I had a long list of basic changes I wanted to make to 3.X.

I tracked the 4e previews and it looked like exactly what I wanted. I was jazzed about it.

When it came out, I was struck by apathy. It didn't really do anything for me. It was supposed to be more free-flowing, but in all the games I played, it seemed like players were just picking options off a list instead of improvising and flowing with the situation.

I became very tired of the 4e system very quickly. It also made me realize how tired I was of the 3.X system.

Since then, I've favored OSRIC to the other D&D systems. Not having options spelt out for the players does seem to promote more off-the-cuff improvisational play. And that's a good thing, IMO.

Between 3.X and 4e, I favor 3.X because I'm already very familiar with it (and there's not going to be anything new to have to learn, ever), but I have a hard time believing 4e isn't a better, more cohesive, system.

Kurald Galain
2010-04-21, 08:19 AM
It irritates me, because 4e is the system that could most easily fit a CRPG. What's taking them so long? I think they're just dragging their feet so they can sell more miniatures.
I suspect that the big publishers do not presently consider such a CRPG a profitable genre.

JediSoth
2010-04-21, 08:21 AM
When 4e has some CRPGs out for it then I will gladly jump on the bandwagon, but for now 3.5 rules my roost.

It irritates me, because 4e is the system that could most easily fit a CRPG. What's taking them so long? I think they're just dragging their feet so they can sell more miniatures.

Legal issues (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=26559) are why there are no 4E CRPGs in the pipeline at this time.

Blacky the Blackball
2010-04-21, 08:44 AM
What was wrong with Labyrinth Lord then? It's most of BECMI with just a lot of the optional stuff trimmed out and the bare bones of the system left.

Granted, it isn't the Rules Cyclopedia, which is just about the best game book there is out there, but it's dang close in a lot of ways and it's pathetically easy to add anything you want back into it.

It doesn't include Mystics, Druids, Skills, Weapon Mastery, Dominions, Artefacts, Immortals, and so on...

Sure, they can all be added in supplements - but one of the whole reasons for wanting to do Dark Dungeons was to have all that in one book, and integrated together as core rules instead of having lots of separate books or supplements each of which has optional rules that override, replace, and in some places simply conflict with each other.

There's a reason that Dark Dungeons is over 320 pages long (without art) compared to Labyrinth Lord's 140 pages with art...

Not that I'm dissing Labyrinth Lord. It's a fine game. It's just not the game that I wanted, so I produced what I wanted.


Plus, you know, free.

So's Dark Dungeons!

Coplantor
2010-04-21, 08:49 AM
So, where can I find this BECMI thing wich sounds so cool?

hamlet
2010-04-21, 08:50 AM
It doesn't include Mystics, Druids, Skills, Weapon Mastery, Dominions, Artefacts, Immortals, and so on...

Sure, they can all be added in supplements - but one of the whole reasons for wanting to do Dark Dungeons was to have all that in one book, and integrated together as core rules instead of having lots of separate books or supplements each of which has optional rules that override, replace, and in some places simply conflict with each other.

There's a reason that Dark Dungeons is over 320 pages long (without art) compared to Labyrinth Lord's 140 pages with art...

Not that I'm dissing Labyrinth Lord. It's a fine game. It's just not the game that I wanted, so I produced what I wanted.



So's Dark Dungeons!

Fair enough!

Suddenly, I have the serious urge to pull out my Rules Cyclopedia and start rolling up characters. Have always wanted to run a game with it.

hamlet
2010-04-21, 08:55 AM
So, where can I find this BECMI thing wich sounds so cool?

Everything you need for a lifetime of gaming. (http://www.nobleknight.com/ProductDetailSearch.asp_Q_ProductID_E_101_A_Invent oryID_E_2147655700_A_ProductLineID_E__A_Manufactur erID_E__A_CategoryID_E__A_GenreID_E_)

There it is, though that's a little pricey for it. Can probably find it a bit cheaper if you hunt around E-Bay or Amazon or something.

Literally, you need almost nothing else. Might want to consider grabbing up Creature Crucibles and the Imortal Rules, but they're not entirely needed even if you do hit level 36.

Blacky the Blackball
2010-04-21, 12:40 PM
So, where can I find this BECMI thing wich sounds so cool?

Of course, if you don't want to pay for a second hand Rules Cyclopedia, you could always check out Dark Dungeons, since it's a retro-clone of that edition - and is FREE to download. It should give you a feel for how that edition works and what it does.

It's not yet been proofread or edited, but the main text is finished and playable.

There's a link in my sig.

Optimystik
2010-04-21, 02:11 PM
Legal issues (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=26559) are why there are no 4E CRPGs in the pipeline at this time.

It seems this is the most likely reason, especially if there's some clause in the Atari contract that prevents WotC from giving the IP to any publishers until they find a way to drop Atari.


I suspect that the big publishers do not presently consider such a CRPG a profitable genre.

I can't imagine how they could think that, given the dynamite performance of titles like Baldur's Gate, NWN, NWN2 and Dragon Age. Hell, even a stripped-down chassis like Torchlight could be molded to fit 4e mechanics.

M:TG is an incredibly complex game - much moreso in many ways than 4e, I'd say. Yet around the time they were revamping the rules in M10, WotC saw the benefit in digitizing the game for a brand new generation with Duels of the Planeswalkers on Xbox Live Arcade. And it paid off like hell - the damn thing is still a best-seller.

The important thing to remember is that, while there is a degree of overlap, largely the tabletop crowd and the video game crowd are two separate markets. They have very little to lose by expanding their brand and exposing D&D to more people. I wouldn't even have even read a sourcebook if it weren't for Baldur's Gate, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Kurald Galain
2010-04-21, 02:16 PM
I can't imagine how they could think that, given the dynamite performance of titles like Baldur's Gate, NWN, NWN2 and Dragon Age.
Baldur's Gate used second edition. It's that old. And yes, it's a great game, but I don't recall many major RPGs (other than Japanese ones and Action RPGs) coming out in the last few years. You know how the industry is, they tend to all aim for the popular genre of the current year.


M:TG is an incredibly complex game - much moreso in many w\ays than 4e, I'd say.
True. I'd also say it makes vastly more money than 4E does, actually, so Hasbro is much more likely to greenlight a MTG computer game.

Overall, regarding 4E games, my bet is on the Indie scene. Of course, they would never get a license, so they would have to make a game based on 4E and call it Caverns & Creatures, or some similar alliteration.

(edit) by the way, is your avatar a Seguleh?

Optimystik
2010-04-21, 03:14 PM
Baldur's Gate used second edition. It's that old.

A) I already know that, and B) it was more like 2.5, actually. So what?


And yes, it's a great game, but I don't recall many major RPGs (other than Japanese ones and Action RPGs) coming out in the last few years. You know how the industry is, they tend to all aim for the popular genre of the current year.

I've got news for you - 4e IS an "Action RPG." That's precisely why it would do well converted to digital format. With more of the simulationist bits trimmed out, the superior combat, well-defined roles and greater class balance would shine even more relative to older editions.


True. I'd also say it makes vastly more money than 4E does, actually, so Hasbro is much more likely to greenlight a MTG computer game.

M:TG has always made more money than D&D. It has a thriving and global competitive network complete with pro tour circuit and high-value prizes.

But what does that prove? Nothing - D&D has always had more games. There's just more design space for a D&D video game than an M:TG one.


(edit) by the way, is your avatar a Seguleh?

A what? :smalltongue:
The inspiration for my avatar is displayed in my sig.

Mark Hall
2010-04-21, 03:24 PM
A) I already know that, and B) it was more like 2.5, actually. So what?

Actually, how do you get that BG used 2.5? BG2 included kits, but those were in the game from pretty much right after the core came out (within a few months). The proficiencies were simplified, and some later options were included, but it was pretty much a straight-up 2e game.

Gryndle
2010-04-21, 03:41 PM
I was a long time 2nd Ed hold-out, until all interest in it in my area died out. Reluctantly converted to 3.5 to join a new group.

When 4th ed came out, I was immediately hooked. Yes it is very different, but for me it captures the feel of the older editions much better than 3.5 did.

for one thing, I hated how focused 3rd/3.5 was on character builds.

With 4th, build matters much less. Its harder to gimp yourself, and easier to just get in the game and play.

Kurald Galain
2010-04-21, 03:54 PM
A) I already know that, and B) it was more like 2.5, actually. So what?
I'm not sure what you mean by "2.5", but I believe that term usually refers to the Skills & Powers books? BG did not, to my knowledge, use anything like that (e.g. 12 attributes instead of 6, and point-buying certain advantages for your character).

Anyway, NWN did use 3E rules, IIRC. My point is not about the rulesets, my point is that the time when the CRPG genre was really popular was about a decade ago.


I've got news for you - 4e IS an "Action RPG." That's precisely why it would do well converted to digital format.
First, I'm not convinced that it is an action RPG, considering its reliance on turn-based mechanics, initiative, out of turn powers, and interrupts. Second, I do believe most people play CRPGs for the story, setting, and coolness factor, and could care less for the actual mechanics used. And third, class balance is really not all that relevant in a single-player CRPG.

It strikes me that the main thing 4E could add to a computer game is the famous brand name, Dungeons And Dragons. Anything other than that, the game writers can do for themselves. In other words, 4E fans would want a 4E CRPG, but would likely complain about the result whatever it is (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/UnpleasableFanbase); and CRPG fans aren't particularly interested in a 4E CRPG.



But what does that prove? Nothing - D&D has always had more games. There's just more design space for a D&D video game than an M:TG one.
I agree. However, Hasbro might not, and much as I'd like to call the shots on this one, I'm afraid they overrule me :smalltongue:


A what? :smalltongue:
A race of masked swordfighters from the same series of books that my username comes from.